Jessica Alba reveals her secret to eco-friendly, stylish living with her new book “The Honest Life.” (Photo/Courtesy Justin Coit)

Jessica Alba gets honest about food, fashion, home and style in new book

Jessica Alba seems to have it all: two beautiful daughters, a doting husband and a successful acting career. The 31-year-old is also a passionate environmentalist and entrepreneur, with a company that offers eco-friendly, toxin-free home and baby products.

But it wasn’t always that way, writes the Mexican-American actress in her new book “The Honest Life.” In fact, it took a bout of hives and severe allergies while washing baby clothes with run-of-the-mill baby detergent to make Alba realize that many products marketed to parents were actually packed with toxins.

THL_CvrFINAL“I don’t think a parent should need a chemistry degree to have a safe home,” writes Alba. “What I believe is that we need to make a safer environment for families, starting with the most vulnerable.”

Now with her new book, Alba gives fans an insight on how she’s created an “authentic, stylish and fun” life for her family; sharing tips on everything from nutritious eating to timeless style, home décor, bringing up baby, entertaining and keeping clean (yes, the “Fantastic Four” star really does give advice on keeping away the dust!). Here are our favorite top five takeaways on healthy living from one of our favorite Latinas:

Wash Your Produce: It may seem like a no-brainer, writes Alba, but with so many prewashed items on the market “it may be tempting to skip this step.” And get this: Even organic produce can have pesticide residue and pathogens “like E. coli can hitch a ride on your salad.” To prevent consuming unwanted chemicals in a healthy diet of whole grains, organic protein and lots of produce, Alba recommends washing fruits and veggies with a DIY 1:4 vinegar solution.

First aid home remedies: Alba says that 100 percent of women of childbearing age have detectable levels of phthalates – fragrance ingredients that may be reproductive toxins – “in their bodies, probably because of cosmetic use.” Alba now skips personal care products that synthetic perfumes or volatile organic compounds and instead has an arsenal of “pure and simple” toiletries. And that extends to the kid’s first-aid kit too: Alba recommends a concoction of tea tree oil and purified water on “minor wounds because it’s a natural antiseptic – and you really don’t need that triple antibacterial gel on a tiny cut.”

Creating the perfect red lip: Alba is known for her glamorous movie star looks and she gives her personal tips for achieving a sexy pout. Apply foundation on the lips, then line with a red lip pencil. Then use a lead-free matching red lipstick, using a Q-tip to clean up the edges.

Alba’s style must haves: Alba recommends the following wardrobe essentials for a perfectly accessorized look, anytime, anywhere: a ballet flat, a party pump, a large day bag, a vintage clutch, statement sunglasses and a glam cocktail ring.

On scrubbing those floors – the healthy way: Some cleaning supplies contain high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can cause or aggravate allergies, writes Alba, so she recommends using “plain old water” to damp-mop hardwood floors “at least once a week.” “It may take you a while to get used to not having that aggressive pine forest or lemon smell,” explains the actress, “but trust me – an odorless (or naturally scented) house is so much better for your and your family’s health.”

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